Socialist Worker

Manchester


Blair's Britain

05 February 2000
RICHARD Branson is hiking ticket prices on his Virgin Trains. Virgin now charges £150 for a standard return fare between London and Manchester. This has risen by 50 percent in three years.THOUSANDS of children are suffering serious birth injuries because of a crisis in Britain's maternity services, say the government's own figures. A shortage of midwives means that up to a third of women give birth without proper supervision.PRINCE Charles's official fortune is now at an all time high of £290 million. Most of this comes from the Duchy of Cornwall. Profits from the estate gave Charles an income of £7 million last year.NEW LABOUR is planning to let the

Civil servants

18 December 1999
CIVIL SERVANTS at the Manchester based Equal Opportunities Commission have accepted a pay offer for 1999 which will mean pay rises of up to 22 percent for the lowest paid. EOC rates began to lag behind those of other civil servants after national bargaining was ended. But an overwhelming vote to strike last year forced a much improved offer. The 4.1 percent offer will mean members near the bottom of each grade receiving the highest raise, without any reference to pay being performance related.

Police staff

18 December 1999
POLICE CIVILIAN staff in Manchester continued their campaign of strike action on Monday. Over 100 people attended the picket line outside Greater Manchester Police HQ. The campaign follows a "job evaluation report" which recommended pay cuts of up to £5,500 a year. This is in stark contrast to the chief constable, who received a £20,000 pay rise and spent £80,000 on a new toilet for his office. Following the first strike last week, management offered to delay the pay cuts by a year. The UNISON union has rejected this and has pledged to continue the action next week and into the new year.

Schools

18 December 1999
Manchester Activists campaigning to abolish the 11-plus exam in Trafford got a boost last week when Roy Hattersley, the former Labour Party shadow cabinet member, addressed a meeting of over 50 people. In Trafford, near Manchester, all primary school pupils still have to sit the 11-plus test. The few who "pass" go to grammar schools while most who "fail" go to separate high schools. Parents opposed to the divisive test can trigger a local referendum. But New Labour's legislation means they need to collect 8,000 signatures in support of a ballot.

Haringey high

18 December 1999
Altogether 62 copies of Socialist Worker were sold on the Haringey council picket lines in north London on Tuesday last week while on Saturday 108 papers were sold in Wood Green campaigning in support of the strikers. Elsewhere on Saturday 196 papers were sold at the Monument in Newcastle, 140 in Birmingham High Street, 100 in Sheffield, 36 in Sunderland and 26 in Port Talbot. In Manchester 205 papers were sold in Market Street, 44 in Gorton and 31 in Cheetham Hill.

Manchester University

27 November 1999
SECRETARIES AND clerical workers at Manchester University struck on Tuesday of last week in a dispute over pay. Management had offered 3.5 percent but had set aside over 6.5 percent for a rise in the university's pay bill. The strike was solid, with over 40 people joining the UNISON union in the run up to the action.

Picket success

27 November 1999
ON WEDNESDAY of last week 24 copies of Socialist Worker were sold on the picket line at Westbourne Park bus garage in west London. On Monday morning this week 9 papers were sold to striking BT call centre workers in Manchester, 8 in Cardiff, 6 in Glasgow and Sheffield, 5 in Liverpool and 3 in Brighton. 25 papers were sold at the PTA plant at Ford Dagenham with 9 more sold at the engine plant. And 62 were sold on workplace sales across Hackney in east London last week. They included 7 papers sold at Homerton Hospital, 4 at Upper Clapton post office, 3 at Shoreditch fire station, 3 at Paragon Road post office, 2 at Andrews Road council depot and 8 at Homerton School. Thanet's first industr

Flying the flag for revolution

27 November 1999
THIS WORKERS' banner (above) is from the period of the Russian Revolution of 1917. It is one of many fascinating items on show in the "Banners at Large" exhibition at The Pumphouse People's History Museum in Manchester until 30 January next year. The banner was sent from the textile workers of Moscow to the textile workers of Yorkshire in about 1920. It was brought to Britain by Maggie Jordan, a mill worker from Shipley.

Oldham racist attack

27 November 1999
AN ASIAN teenager was badly injured when an axe was thrown through his car window in a racist attack in Oldham, Greater Manchester, last week. Eighteen year old Liaqet Ali suffered a broken jaw and lost several teeth after the car he was travelling in was cornered by a white gang in a Ford Escort.

Colleges

20 November 1999
SECRETARIAL and clerical workers at Manchester University were due to be out on strike on Tuesday in a dispute over pay. Staff have demanded an improvement on the 3.5 percent which was foisted on them in their September pay packets. The university has one of the highest proportions of low paid clerical staff in the country.

Help us raise £175,000

20 November 1999
THE MONEY collected for the Socialist Worker appeal has now reached £136,380.62. In the last week we received donations from many workplace collections, including: £4 from Jaguar in Solihull, £10 from Blackburn College, £14.98 from De la Rue Printers in High Wycombe, £17 from UCLH hospitals, £18 from Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, £23.50 from Oxford City Council workers, £25 from Kirklees housing workers, £27 from Newcastle General Hospital, £40 amongst Huddersfield postal workers, £80 from BT workers in Bristol St Pauls, £5 from Rolls Royce workers in Bristol, £6 from Sheffield Southey Green housing association, £10 outside Manchester Royal Infirmary and £16 at a Sheffield Trades Council

Help us raise £175,000

13 November 1999
SOCIALIST WORKER'S appeal burst through the £100,000 mark this week. Now the total has reached £114,448.51. The money we received included £365 raised from a walk by 50 people around London's East End through the sites of great working class struggles like the Match Girls' strike in 1888. A walking tour round Manchester raised £214.

Post

06 November 1999
POSTAL WORKERS at the giant Mount Pleasant office in central London are waiting to hear if their site is to lose 1,600 jobs. Royal Mail plans to shift most of Britain's international mail work to a new "greenfield" site at Langley near Slough in Berkshire. That would mean huge job losses at Mount Pleasant - and at Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester, Reading and Dover. The key date is 15 November when the Royal Mail board meets.

Gathering strength

06 November 1999
Sales of Socialist Worker outside workplaces are gathering strength. Last week in central London 14 were sold at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, 9 at Mount Pleasant post office and 5 at the Westminster site of the Jubilee Line Extension. In the north east 15 papers were sold at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary with £15 collected for the Socialist Worker Appeal and £11 at Sunderland Civic Centre where 11 was collected. In Manchester 16 papers were sold at the town hall, 12 at Oldham Road post office and 8 at the Marks and Spencer construction site. In Bristol sales included 11 at the Avonmouth Bridge site and 9 at the central telephone exchange, while on Merseyside 15 were sold at

Air traffic controllers

30 October 1999
AIR TRAFFIC control staff in Manchester took their concerns over the threatened privatisation of the service to the public on Saturday of last week. Half a dozen members of the IPMS union, which organises air traffic controllers, leafleted shoppers in the Arndale centre and got a tremendous response.

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.